I’m always fascinated by the schedules of my friends and loved ones and the working vs SAHM. Similarly, I love to read “Day in the life” posts on my favorite blogs so I thought I’d combine the two here. I want to start by saying that I share custody 50/50 with my ex-husband. Some may think this arrangement is fortunate as it allows me time to myself. Maybe I’ll feel that way when J is an angsty tween but, right now, she’s 2 1/2 and the time apart isn’t my choice or preference.
J usually wakes between 5:30 and 6:30am. She’s always been an early riser. She starts calling out for me with increasing urgency until I haul myself out of REM sleep and into her room. She is currently still in a crib. She’s had a lot of changes over the past six months and we are now working on weaning from off of her binky along with potty training so the crib conversion is on a back burner. She immediately asks me for ‘milky and piggy’ i.e. a cup of milk and an episode of Peppa Pig on my iPad. We bring the milk and iPad into my bed and we snuggle and doze. This is my favorite part of the day. All too soon, I have to get into the shower and J usually gets busy in her play kitchen. We’re currently in an apartment and everything in on one floor and child-proofed which is great.
While I get ready, J brings me assorted cups of her pretend tea, toast and fruit while I cajole her into eating some real food. She’s often too busy to be bothered and we end up bringing her breakfast with us to school. The process of ‘getting ready’ is, for me, far too short as I usually skip many of the steps that make for an attractive and professional office presence. I have, however, kicked my skin care routine back into high gear since the worry lines are getting far too plentiful for my taste. After dressing in an outfit that stretches the term ‘business casual’ to its outermost limits, I pack J’s lunch and pack her backpack with extra supplies, notes to teacher and Bunny. I then wrangle an indignant J away from her ‘work’ in the kitchen and its her turn to get ready. I honestly think I spend more time selecting her outfit and hair style for the day than my own. I can’t be alone here, right? Around this time it clicks that we are going to be leaving shortly so she asks me to rock her. We sit in our glider in her room and I explain to her what the rest of the day will be like–what’s happening at school, what she has in her lunch and, most importantly, who is picking her up from school and when we will see each other next. I think this is very soothing to her and gets her in a good head space for her day. These little rituals are what keep her happy and grounded. Its very, very hard to get out of that chair.
I drive J to school which is about 12 minutes away and, after drop-off, complete the next 45 minutes of my commute (including a stop at Starbucks) with the aide of morning radio. Work is the easy part of the day. Its goes something like: coffee, chatting with co-workers, legal work, email friends, legal work, check out blogs, legal work, eat lunch, legal work, email friends, chat and depart. Two days a week I use flextime so that I can leave by 4:15pm to pick up J by 5:15pm. The other two days I stay until 6:00pm to make up for my early exits and one day is normal 9-5. I HIGHLY recommend being an advocate for yourself and taking the initiative to ask for flexible work arrangements if your employer doesn’t already offer them. This is the way corporate America is trending and I think its crucial for real, sustainable work/life balance.
Assuming that this is a day that I get J, I use the WAZE app to finagle a back road to her school to avoid horrific traffic and pick her up. We either go to the store for groceries, do an errand or head right home depending on her mood. We eat a pretty basic dinner (I NEED to work on this) and then she plays until around 6:30pm when our bedtime routine starts. Bedtime is usually comprised of a bath or shower, diaper, cream (J has excema so this is super important), hair. She then settles in with another ‘milky’ (for some reason J doesn’t like to drink milk with her meals but rather as its own, distinct AM/PM ritual) and we read several books. Our favorites are by Nancy Tillman (The Night You Were Born ALWAYS gets me) but we also are loving the behavioral books by Elizabeth Verdick. Pacifiers Are Not Forever-a classic.
J usually starts getting very sleepy while we read so then we’re off to the bathroom to brush teeth and wash hands and into her crib. Some nights , I do songs, some nights, she tells me to leave and we’re done. We always use a white noise machine. Asleep by 7:30pm. PHEW. Here is where I want to be able to write that I now fit in a workout, do a load of laundry and am in bed with a book by 10:00pm. REALITY: I immediately change into my own PJ’s, do my nightly skincare routine and collapse into bed by 8:00pm. Yes, people, I need a LOT of sleep. Always have, always will. I usually browse what I like to refer to as ‘my boards’ i.e. Instagram, Feedly, Facebook (rapidly waning interest), Pinterest, Vanity Fair, Town and Country, Zillow, Blind Gossip, Radar Online and then read a chapter or two of my latest book and fall asleep while reading. ZZZZZZZZZ…